Ep. 220 Mini-series 5 Work-life integration

Work life balance

In this week’s episode, Anna looks at work-life integration.

Have you found a way to balance your business with everything else? In today’s episode, Anna looks at the 5th pillar of building a life outside the 9 to 5, designing flexible work-life integration.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

Outside of the 9 to 5 – Your practical guide to designing and building a profitable business that gives you freedom, flexibility and fulfilment. outsideofthe9to5.com

Work-life integration

Hello there, and welcome back to the fifth and final episode of mini podcast series this week celebrating the launch of my book outside of the nine to five. And so let’s do a recap of the full week we looked at pillar one, identifying your personal definition of success, pillar two, cultivating confidence and resilience. Pillar three, choosing the right business model. Pillar four yesterday was building an effective personal brand.

Pillar five today is designing flexible work life integration.

And in a way, we’re actually coming back full circle to pillar one and your definition of success, because we already talked about the balance that you’re trying to achieve across those different areas of your life. And now we’re getting quite concrete, very tangible, this one actually, as we dig into how you can plan and structure your life, to anchor your big picture vision into your day to day habits and routines. Because again, what we don’t want to do is have a strategy or a vision on a piece of paper. That’s all hunky dory. But you know, the things that you actually spend your time on day in and day out are what’s going to get you the results. So if the day to day reality isn’t matching your vision, then you’re just never going to get them. And I know that the idea of routine and structure might be really horrible to you, because perhaps you’re rebelling as I did against the very rigid kind of corporate nine to five that we’re escaping, right.

However, I hope I can persuade you here as well, that a little bit of structure is actually what’s going to give you that freedom, flexibility and fulfillment that I’m always talking about.

So firstly, before I get into the practical details and the steps of this pillar, I do want to touch on the broader concept of work life integration, because most of you are probably more familiar with the idea of work life balance, and I just want to quickly explain why I prefer integration. So that phrase work life balance is very popular, right. But I really feel that it creates a false dichotomy between work on the one hand of the scales, right, and then life on the other, you really visualize that balance right away. So while you’re trying to create a perfect equilibrium between your career or job on the one side, and then your personal life on the other. And the thing is, and if you’re familiar again, if you’ve been listening to my podcast, I’ve talked before about the different areas of your life where we think about wellbeing, relationships, learning career, fun, and so on. Work is actually only one part of your life, it’s certainly not separate to your life, they could just kind of juxtapose with life on the other side. And it’s also not just a zero sum game, where more life as I think many employers assume, means more means more life, more fun and more family and so on mean less work, less success, less productivity, and so on, which I think is completely wrong. And reality is so much more complex.

You know, within our personal life, we have family, friends, hobbies, extracurricular activities, travel, as well as you know, life admin, personal development, and so on, we might even be making an impact in our personal life, because we’re volunteering or we have a side hustle or something, right, so other income streams outside of that day job.

And then on the other side of the coin, within work, there’s a lot more going on than just, you know, heading to work and getting paid, we have relationships at work, it affects our mental and physical well being and vice versa. And I know, shocker, we might even have fun in the office. So for me, separating those two things is just ludicrous. To be honest, I prefer work life integration. Because at a really basic level, of course, this has become possible thanks to tech, right. So the internet means you can check your emails on your laptop, your phone, you can work from anywhere. Unfortunately, that may lead to you being always on and never taking a break. And that’s, of course, not a positive development. But on the other hand, if you’re able to work after hours at home, and if that means you can use part of your working day to go to the gym, to run errands, to pick up your children from school to meet your sister for lunch, whatever, then that suddenly becomes a much more attractive proposition. And the beauty of designing your own business, which is what we’re doing here is that you can fully embrace this idea of work life integration, right? You don’t have to follow that rigid Monday to Friday, nine to five routine anymore. You can break free from what is a pretty outdated construct, and make things work more flexibly for you. Above all, integration means striving for harmony between those different areas of your life, right? So it’s not that zero sum. It’s really harmonious.

It’s it’s synergies between the two, I definitely don’t subscribe to that view that being a successful High Achiever at work means that you have to sacrifice time with your family or own health, or on the other side that making time for your children. your well being has to mean giving up on your professional ambitions. There are absolutely synergies between these different areas. They’re just not in competition. It’s a fallacy that unfortunately, dare I say it some often white older men seem to be perpetuating in our society. So the first step in pillar four is designing or rather getting clear on your priorities so that you can design this integration, right? So we’re looking at, of course, the priorities within your business but also as ever, the priorities within your life more broadly. Right?

So what are the things that need to be on your calendar every day every week for you to reach your goals to make your business work for you?

Secondly, and for your life. Second step is looking at setting boundaries. So it’s all very well to have all these ambitious goals and ideas about what you want your life to look like, if you can’t set clear boundaries, or if you can’t say no, there won’t be any space for the yes, the right Yes. And you’re just not going to get there. So when I talk about integration between work and life, to be clear, I’m not saying that you need to blur the lines completely. I’m not talking about working in your bed, on your holidays at the park with your kids, there is still a line to be drawn. But the good news is that you get to choose where you draw that line. And certainly I drew it in different ways when I was young and single and carefree than I do now with with my kids and my partner, then we’ll look at systems, I know it’s not a sexy topic, but the operational processes and tools that will help you to simplify, streamline, and automate are actually the systems that are going to allow you to focus on what really matters. So both the type of work that you love doing in your business, and the work that will make the biggest difference for you for clients, but also, of course, freeing up your time then to live your life outside of your business.

And the final step here on the final pillar is to really look at delegating and outsourcing. We’re generally not talking about business here, where you’re going to have physical offices, and you know, team of 50, on the payroll, and so on, we’re looking at maybe using assistance, freelancers, perhaps associates in a loose structure in a way that’s going to help you focus on what you really want to and should be doing. So those are the four steps of the final pillar, we’ve got getting clear on your priorities, setting healthy boundaries, creating systems and processes and delegating and outsourcing. And with that, those are the five pillars of the book of building a business outside of the nine to five again, one more time, please let me let me say this one more thing, you can get outside of the nine to five, of course, at your local Amazon, you can also go to outside the nine to five.com. And that will redirect you. But outside the nine to five, your practical guide to designing and building a profitable business that gives you freedom, flexibility, and fulfillment.

So thank you for listening this week to my mini series, I’d love to hear your feedback. So you can email me at podcast at onestep si.com. Or connect with me on your favorite social media, I would love for you to grab your copy of the book again, I really recommend the paperback. So you can scribble in the margins, the Kindle be available today, in fact, so grab that as well, if you prefer that grab both why not? at half price today, the paperback so you can grab both copies, the audio version I will work on only to find out how to do that. But I do think that’s a good option. Certainly I listen to a lot of books. However, to really work through it practically I very much recommend grabbing a paper book, paper book paperback book or the Kindle, you can also highlight that, can’t you and take screenshots and things. And of course, as I mentioned earlier in the week, the Business Academy is really the companion course for this. So if you want to apply what you’ve read, really implement it, work through in a more interactive way that’s going to take you step by step through these four steps on each of the five pillars and actually apply them in your business, then go to one service.com forward slash course, to read more about the business academy to start learning and our self directed course, working through the five pillars. And again, it’s very much mirroring the content in the book. So I hope you’ll join me in congratulating myself for achieving publication of this book last year, it’s been as you can imagine a labor of love.

And I’m really excited above all, of course, selfishly for my own personal satisfaction, because it’s been hard work in the past year to get this done. But I really have enjoyed if not every minute, I’ve enjoyed a lot of it. Many thanks. I’m going to take the moment now to thank of course the designers on 99 designs who helped me with the book cover. I have Allison, I’ll try to put these links on the website who helped me with the graphics inside. Kira on my team has been hugely supportive as well, everyone in my mastermind anyone who has offered to read and leave a review as well. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I leave you with the hope that this will be an incredible resource for you whether you’re just starting out or you’re further along, I think you know, there’s a lot of insight in a consolidation essentially of years of learning and experience. I really hope that you find it valuable. Again, if you do read it, please do leave a review on Amazon. Send me a note if you’d like to, I’ll reply to each of you individually. I’d love to hear from you. And and then Yeah, watch the space. Let’s see what the next book will be. But thank you so much for your support. We’ll be back for the normal weekly podcast episode next week and moving on to exciting things this year. Outside the nine to five you can grab it now on Amazon. Thank you so much. I’ll see you next week. Bye for now


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